N.H. Department of Corrections | New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. Department of Corrections

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections says that in order to comply with Gov. Chris Sununu's proposed budget, it would have to cut rehabilitative and educational programs that serve hundreds of inmates every year.

In a presentation to lawmakers this week, DOC Commissioner Helen Hanks said the state is looking at closing the Shea Farm Transitional Housing Unit for women in Concord and the Calumet Transitional Housing Unit for men in Manchester. These halfway houses currently serve around fifty inmates who typically are working in the community and awaiting parole hearings.  

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

People who are incarcerated have been particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks during this pandemic. New Hampshire's state prison system has been managing several outbreaks over the last few months.

File photo / Flickr CC Andre Gustavo-Stumpf

 

New Hampshire's Department of Corrections praised its K-9 unit for seizing drugs in prisons and at the homes of parolees.

According to statistics released Friday, the K-9 unit handled 93 calls since January and seized a range of drugs including suboxone hidden in mouths and clothes and synthetic marijuana. Suboxone is intended to treat heroin addiction, but some abuse the drug to get high.

The team also confiscated phones, a homemade machete, a homemade knife, and a tattoo motor.

Emily Corwin, NHPR

A group of lawmakers from both parties are trying to fix a loophole in New Hampshire’s sexual assault law that allowed a former law enforcement official to evade charges that he raped an inmate who he was driving across the state last year.

NHPR File Photo

  Helen Hanks began her first four-year term as commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections in November. She'd served as assistant commissioner previously and she comes into this new role at a time when the department is struggling to retain staff. It's a problem that some say is exacerbated by comparatively low pay for corrections officers. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on NHPR. I'm Peter Biello. Commissioner Hanks joins me now to talk about the state of the department.

 

 Welcome to All Things Considered.